Jun 17, 2012

the power of fathers

Many times in YA fiction, parents get a bad rap. In all of my manuscripts the parents are either:

A) absent
B) angry
C) alcoholic
D) abusive
E) all of the above

While there are reasons for this (it allows for the teenage main characters to have more independence and agency), I often feel guilty for casting parents in such a negative light. This is because I myself had amazing parents--thought you might not immediately think that if you were to read my novels.

So. Disclaimer. My novel parents in NO WAY reflect my REAL parents.

My real parents aren't perfect, but they're pretty wonderful despite that.

And, seeing as it's Father's Day, I'll brag a bit more on my dad.

My dad taught me to appreciate vinyl records and classic rock. My dad sat down every evening after work and patiently tutored me through pre-Algebra even when I burst into tears and ranted about how unfair life was (Math was never, and still shall never be, my friend). My dad slipped us fish-sticks and boiled shrimp whenever my mom worked nights at the hospital. My dad was right there behind me teaching me to ride my bike, running for blocks and blocks until I finally learned to balance on my own. My dad always made time for me, no matter what else was ailing him.

But I think the most important thing my dad did was this: he believed in me. (And still does).

When husband and I decided to get married at the age of 21, my dad believed I was making the right choice when others said we were too young. When I decided to move halfway around the world and teach English, he even traveled over and visited for a week.

He believed in my dream to become a writer (even though he would at times tease me about writing about talking animals). I think this is one of the bigger gifts he gave me-- not pressuring me to "get a practical major" or "find a good job." When I told him I was going to major in creative writing, he nodded and said, "Okay. Good."

For good or for bad, our fathers have a huge impact on our lives. If I hadn't had a dad who was so supportive and encouraging, I might not have made the lunge for my dreams.

So, thanks, Dad (I know you'll read this!). You did good.

Me and my dad in Korea


  1. Such a nice post! And what a great picture! Thanks for sharing this with us! :)

    1. I love my dad and I don't care who knows it! :) Thanks, Kat.